Saints coach Joe Vitt talks about whether Drew Brees can dance… and other OTAs reflections

Saints QB Chase Daniel is lying down (Associated Press)

I’m here at the Saints facility in Metaire, La., and OTAs just ended. On a fairly hot day, with lightning in the backgrounds, the Saints did their thing on the field. It was, as always, a little odd.

Drew Brees wasn’t here, coach Sean Payton wasn’t here, and Joe Vitt was running things as he will be right up until the suspension. We’ll get to some notes in a minute… but first, a Brees update.

Vitt says he is “still confident” that Brees’ deal will get done. He said he had a great conversation with Brees the other day about training camp and what they want to put in. Vitt said he knew Brees wanted to get certain things done, and they talked about that. Interesting, because Brees hasn’t said whether he’ll be showing up to camp under the franchise tag.

I feel confident he’s going to be here,” Vitt said. “He’ll be here.”

I asked why Vitt was so confident.

What else is he going to do, he can’t sing or dance,” Vitt said, drawing laughter.

Was he sure, I asked.

Pretty sure,” the interim coach said. “Yeah, I know that. Listen, I don’t think anybody thought this was going to be easy. We talked about the lockout last year, ‘Well, they’re going to come back then, they’re going to come back here.’ I think everybody knew it was going to come back to the 23rd hour and it would get done. There’s a lot of revolving pieces Mickey (Loomis) has to get in with the cap and so on and so forth. This is going to get done, and it’s going to get done when Drew and Mickey know what’s best for our football team and we can move forward.”

So… what happened out there?

— Chase Daniel is no Brees. Not exactly breaking news there. But watch practice for a few minutes, and it’s evident. The pseudo starter doesn’t throw the ball terribly, and he had a couple of nice deep connections. But during 7-on-7 when the defense started blitzing, Daniel took about four would-be sacks. And when he was pressured, he looked flustered and threw some bad balls. I had thought it would look bad without Brees… and man, does it.

LB Jonathan Vilma was present for practice, and so was RB Mark Ingram. But both did not participate. Both are rehabbing from surgery, and neither absence was expected. Vilma has still not met with the media since his suit, so we’ll see if that happens today. I wouldn’t count on it. Oh, and as the Times-Picayune’s Nakia Hogan noted, the LB starters today were¬†Curtis Lofton in the middle, David Hawthorne at weakside, and Scott Shanle at strongside.

— The highlight of the workout deep passes from Daniel to WR Courtney Roby, and rookie Al Toon made a really nice grab, too. But it’s clear the team is hurting for QBs. There are just two in uniform, with Sean Canfield joining Daniel. That meant that, at times, RB Pierre Thomas needed to help out and throw some passes. Not unprecedented, just odd to see. No wonder Vitt said they’re gonna bring in another QB next week for mini-camp.

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